PANAJI :

Goans will be banned from entering the state's onshore and offshore casinos soon, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant told the Goa Legislative Assembly on Wednesday.

Sawant however did not finalise a date for the ban.

"Casinos are for tourists. We will fix a date, after that date no more Goans will be allowed in casinos. Give me some time. Let's together finalise a date," Sawant said.

Goa has six offshore casinos and nearly a dozen onshore casinos. The casinos are popular with hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit the coastal state every year.

Earlier, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had said that only airline passengers would have access to casinos at the upcoming Mopa international airport.

In a written reply to a question by BJP legislator Wilfred D'Sa in the assembly, Sawant said 232 acres of land at the airport had been earmarked for commercial development.

Apart from casinos, hotels of various categories, eco-adventure and wellness resorts, as well as a shopping plaza would be constructed at the airport, he said.

The statement comes at a time when the Goa government, under pressure from the civil society and the Opposition, is in the process of relocating six offshore casinos, parked in the Mandovi river.

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